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Niki Lauda: Former F1 champion 'functioning well' after lung transplant

08 August 2018

The Austrian woke up from a medically-induced coma on Saturday, two days after undergoing life-saving surgery at AKH Vienna hospital, it was revealed by FOX Sports. Lauda has twice undergone kidney transplants, in 1997 and 2005.

"The doctors decided that only a lung transplant can save the life of the Austrian national hero", reported OE24.

The 69-year-old had been suffering from "severe lung disease", according to the Vienna General Hospital, and had surgery on August 2 after flying home from a holiday in Ibiza.

Lauda was severely burned in an accident at the 1976 German Grand Prix and had fluid vacuumed from his lungs so he could return to racing in just six weeks, an event chronicled in the Ron Howard-directed film "Rush", which stared Daniel Brühl as Lauda.

As flames surrounded his auto, Lauda was rescued by his fellow drivers and suffered severe burns.

Mercedes non executive chairman Niki Lauda during the Britain Formula One Grand Prix 2016 in Silverstone England 10 July 2016
F1 legend Niki Lauda has emergency lung transplant at 69

His condition at the time had been "extremely critical", the head of the department that performed Lauda's surgery said.

He said the new lung is working well.

"Considering the not very easy circumstances we are very, very happy with the developments", Klepetko said, adding the hospital would release a comprehensive update about Lauda's condition at a later time.

"For all of us at Mercedes he is our chairman, our mentor and our friend".

Lauda was appointed as Mercedes' non-executive chairman in 2012 and was involved in the signing of Lewis Hamilton to the F1 team. "I miss you my friend".

Niki Lauda: Former F1 champion 'functioning well' after lung transplant